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Admission to drug treatment and rehabilitation centers to resume with strict health and safety protocols amid the pandemic

Adjusting to the “New Normal,” the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) adopted infection prevention and control protocol to be followed upon the resumption of admissions and activities in drug treatment and rehabilitation facilities nationwide.

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DDB issues policy to ensure availability of physicians authorized to assess substance use disorder amid the pandemic

The Dangerous Drugs Board, in its recent special meeting, approved a Resolution extending the validity of provisional accreditation granted to physicians authorized to conduct Drug Dependency Examination (DDE) for a period of two years.

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DDB refutes heavy-handed approach in UN-OHCHR drug war report

The Philippine Government takes exception to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Report, especially as it relates to Philippine efforts to effectively address the pervasive menace and destructive effects of illegal drugs in the country.

The Philippines calls on the OHCHR to foster a positive spirit of cooperation with States Parties, with the view of releasing an unbiased report based on facts, legitimate figures and continuing consultations with key anti-drug agencies in the Philippines.

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Statement of the DDB on the change of leadership in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency

The Dangerous Drugs Board welcomes the assumption of new PDEA Director General Wilkins Villanueva after Malacañang released his appointment signed last 22 May 2020. Incoming DG Villanueva has been a steadfast partner of DDB even during his early years as career officer of PDEA. DDB has involved him in many of its anti-drug efforts particularly in policy formulation and strategy development aspects which helped craft many of its inter-agency priorities all these years. Recognizing him as the 7th Director-General of PDEA, DDB intends to engage more closely and deepen the collaboration with his leadership noting that he will become an Ex-Officio Member of the Board.

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DDB Eases the Use of Prescription Forms for Dangerous Drugs

The Dangerous Drugs Board now allows the use of ordinary prescription for medical preparations containing dangerous drugs.

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DDB advocates for the use of electronic prescription for dangerous drugs medication

The Dangerous Drugs Board appeals to doctors, pharmacists, and drug store personnel to consider the use of electronic prescription for medicines included in the list of dangerous drugs as the whole country is under a State of Calamity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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DDB, SDA Church hold program to update health directors on the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) and board regulations

The Dangerous Drugs Board, in collaboration with the Southern Asia-Pacific Division of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, convenes Luzon-based health directors of the religious group to update them on the Philippine Anti-Illegal Drugs Strategy (PADS) and relevant DDB regulations.

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DDB clarifies: CBD is not cannabis per se

The Dangerous Drugs Board would like to clarify that marijuana use remains illegal in the country for both recreational and medical use. The use of Cannabidiol, however, is being considered to be allowed for treatment of certain rare forms of epilepsy like Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet Syndrome.

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DDB, DOST-FNRI launch dietary manuals for Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs)

The Dangerous Drugs Board and the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, officially launch three dietary manuals to be used in Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (TRCs) in the Philippines.

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Household Survey on the Nature and Extent of Drug Abuse in the Philippines

The survey was conducted to determine the number and national estimates of current users, knowledge and perceptions on certain drug-related concerns, and patterns and consequences of drug use.

A total of 12,000 individuals served as respondents of the study. They are taken from 1,000 households with three household members belonging to the age brackets of 10-19, 20-29, and 30-44 years from NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Findings:

    • Out of the 12,000 respondents who were interviewed, 22.96% admitted to have tried drugs once in their lifetime (lifetime prevalent users). 13.94% are current users (those who were taking drugs for the last six months prior to and at the time of the interview).
    • Pushers (42.98%) and peers (33.35%) were mentioned by current users as their source of drugs.
    • Most drug users (54.03%) reside in NCR. The distribution of current users in other regions is as follows: Region 7 (16.92%); Region 8 (9.56%); Region 9 (8.49%); CARAGA (5.08%); Region 4 (3.05%); Region 2 (2.63%); CAR (0.24%).
    • Social/peer related reasons (25.76%) are the most common cause for continued drug use, followed by substance abuse factors (20.80%), easy availability of drugs/popularity of drug abuse; and family related problems (14.52%).
    • Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (73.82%) is the top drug of choice among the current users, followed by inhalants (26%) and Marijuana (24.69%).
    • Based on the survey results, it was estimated that for Filipinos aged 10-44 years old, there were about 6,765,773* million current users. (*Based on the 2004 NSO Projection Population of 46,529,211 among 10-44 years old).

A Pilot Study on Nalbuphine Hydrocholoride (Nubain) Abuse in Cebu City and Metro Manila

The study sought to determine the extent of Nalbuphine Hydrocholoride abuse in Cebu City and ascertain the possibility of the spillover effect of its abuse, if there is, in Metro Manila and to find out the reasons why it is popular in some areas.

The primary sources of data are self-confessed Nubain users (N=116) confined in the different rehabilitation centers in Cebu City and one in Metro Manila during the project period. Law enforcement officials and the heads of rehabilitation centers under study served as secondary sources of data. The documentary analysis of existing information on Nubain abuse was also utilized.

Findings:

    • The profile of Nubain abusers did not differ from that of a typical drug abuser.
    • The Nalbuphine Hydrochloride abusers were identified to be primarily from Cebu City only. Those interviewed in Manila were found to have abused the drug in Cebu also.
    • The availability of Nalbuphine Hydrochloride and the relatively easy means of retailing it in Cebu added up to its being endemic in the area.
    • Nalbuphine Hydrochloride abusers were at risk of contracting contagious diseases because of the unhealthy practice of needle sharing.

Factors Contributory to Drug User’s Refusal to Submit for Rehabilitation: A First Approximation

The study aimed to identify the reasons/factors why drug users refuse to be rehabilitated. The primary respondents (N=100) are identified drug users but had no previous history of admission to a treatment facility for their drug problem. However, due to the limitations encountered in the course of this study, first timers and newly admitted clients in two rehabilitation centers were also considered. Secondary respondents (N=100) were also taken and are composed mainly of their immediate families, nearest relatives, and/or closest friends to validate/confirm their responses.

Findings:

    • Findings revealed that most of the primary respondents (21%) could not afford to undergo rehabilitation due to financial constraints or poverty. Many of the families of these users are jobless and are in need of financial assistance.
    • Another major factor for their refusal to undergo rehabilitation is that they are afraid because they have no idea about what treatment and rehabilitation is (21%). They have the negative impression that patients are physically harmed inside the center.
    • Others claimed that they could control their drug taking behavior (20%) while there are those who do not really want to change or stop their vice (12%). This is a manifestation of the “denial” syndrome that characterized drug dependents. They refuse to believe that they are sick and are in need of professional help. They maintain their resistance to get rid of the drug habit and this served as a major obstacle in any attempt at treatment and rehabilitation.

PROFILE OF DRUG ABUSERS
(Facility based)
CY 2004

AGE : Mean age of 29 years
SEX : Ratio of male to female 9:1
CIVIL STATUS : Single 53.15%
FAMILY SIZE : Three (3) to four (4) siblings
OCCUPATION : Unemployed 38%
Workers / Employees 29.53%
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT : High School level 28.93%
ECONOMIC STATUS:Average monthly family income P13,553.36
PLACE OF RESIDENCE : Urban (specifically NCR)
DURATION OF DRUG TAKING : More than six (6) years
NATURE OF DRUG – TAKING : Poly drug use
DRUGS OF ABUSE : Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu)
                                 Cannabis (Marijuana)
                                 Cough/Cold Preparations
                                 Benzodiazepines
                                 Inhalants

*Residential and Out-Patient Facility

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS

       For the year 2004, the reported cases were predominantly male with a ratio of 9:1. Most of them are single (53.15%) while the rest are either married (32.26%); with live-in partners (7.57%), or were separated (5.94%).

       The highest percent distribution of center clients is steady within the age groups 25-29 and 20-24, with 21.50% and 19.70%, respectively. The mean or average age is 29 years old.

REPORTED CASES BY GENDER
(Facility - Based)
CY 2004

                                                   MALE             FEMALE       GRAND TOTAL
TYPE OF ADMISSION NO. % NO. % NO. %
NEW ADMISSIONS 4,196 72.51 484 8.36 4,680 80.87
READMISSIONS 840 14.52 47 0.81 887 15.33
OUT - PATIENT 189 3.27 31 0.54 220 3.80
T O T A L 5,225 90.29 562 9.71 5,787 100.00

* Total reported cases from residential and out-patient facilities


STATISTICS ON DRUG ABUSE

The Integrated Central Case Registry and Monitoring System (ICCRMS)

       Year-end submissions for 2004 received from 53 residential and 1 outpatient facilities reporting with the DDB revealed a total of 5,787 cases for the year to include 4,680 (80.87%) new admissions, 887 admissions, relapse and outpatient cases as compared to the figures of 2003. This may be attributable to the high cost of treatment in private rehabilitation centers, which may have served as a deterrent for drug dependents to seek the appropriate intervention.

       The region with the most number of cases of 2004 is the NCR with 51.46%. Regions IV-A (16.81%), III (16.54%), VII (4.94%), and XI (3.75%) follow to complete the first five ranking. The least number of cases come from the ARMM with only .03%.

       As to educational attainment, those who were in the high school level has the highest percent distribution with 28.93% followed closely by those in the college level with 27.91% while 16.76% were clients who have graduated in high school before they sought treatment and rehabilitation.

       With regard to the classification of patients, 38% of the total cases were employed, 29.53% were workers, 8.92% were either businessmen or self-employed, 5.37% were students, and .79% were out-of-school youth prior to their admission for treatment.

       Of the total workers’/employees’ group of 1,709, the unskilled workers (those who are untrained or inexperienced like the bet takers, baggers, barkers, etc.) ranked first with 39.20%. Following closely are the semi-skilled ones (those who require less training and exercise less independent judgment such as the service crews, tailors, drivers, and others who operate machines) with 37.39%. The professionals comprised 17.50% while the skilled workers (those who have been trained or are experts in a particular occupation like the technicians, chefs, etc.) represented 5.91%.

       The average family monthly income of the center clients rose to ₱13,553.36 from the previous year’s ₱12,358.48.

       84.45% of the total cases abused Shabu, Marijuana (31.73%); cough/cold preparations (3.73%); benzodiazephines (3.72%) inhalants (3.28%); Ecstasy (1.43%); Cocaine (1.26%); Nalbuphine Hydrochloride (.81%); opium (.90%); Psilocybin (.19%); Mescaline (.10%); and Datura or “Talampunay” (.07%).

MOST COMMONLY USED DRUGS/SUBSTANCES
(Facility Based)*
2004

DRUGS USED / ABUSED NEW ADMISSIONS RE-ADMISSIONS OUT-PATIENT GRAND TOTAL % based on the total number of responses (7,703) % based on the total number of admissions (5,787)
1. SHABU (STIMULANT) 3,929 807 151 4,887 63.44 84.45
2. MARIJUANA (CANNABIS) 1,395 289 152 1,836 23.83 31.73
3. COUGH / COLD PREPARATIONS 157 59   216 2.80 3.73
4. BENZODIAZEPINES 138 77   215 2.79 3.72
5. INHALANTS 161 14 15 190 2.47 3.28
6. ECSTASY (STIMULANT) 70 13   83 1.08 1.43
7. COCAINE (STIMULANT) 51 22   73 0.95 1.26
8. OPIUM (MORPHINE / HEROIN) 27 25   52 0.68 0.90
9. NUBAIN (NARCOTIC / ANALGESIC) 25 22   47 0.61 0.81
10. PSILOCYBIN (MAGIC MUSHROOM) 8 3   11 0.14 0.19
11. MESCALINE (HALLUCINOGEN) 5 1   6 0.08 0.10
12. DATURA (TALAMPUNAY) 4     4 0.05 0.07
OTHER DRUGS 62 23   83 1.08 1.43
TOTAL       7,703 100.00  

        Methamphetamine Hydrochloride, commonly known as Shabu, remains as the no. 1 drug of abuse with 4,887 cases (63.43%). Marijuana is in No. 2 with 1,836 cases (23.83%) while in the third position are the cough/cold preparations having 216 cases (2.80%). Benzodiazepines were also commonly used by 215 (2.79%). Inhalants came in at fifth with 190 (2.47%) cases while Ecstasy ranks sixth with 83 (1.08%) cases.

       The routes of administration are that of inhalation or sniffing and oral ingestion.

PROFILE OF DRUG ABUSERS
(Facility based)
CY 2005

AGE : Mean age of 29 years
SEX : Ratio of male to female 10:1
CIVIL STATUS : Single 54.40%
FAMILY SIZE : Three (3) to four (4) siblings
OCCUPATION : Unemployed 38.19%
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT : High School level 27.58%
ECONOMIC STATUS:Average monthly family income P13,063.13
PLACE OF RESIDENCE : Urban (specifically NCR)
DURATION OF DRUG TAKING : More than six (6) years
NATURE OF DRUG – TAKING : Poly drug use
DRUGS OF ABUSE : Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu)
                                 Cannabis (Marijuana)
                                 Inhalants

*Residential and Out-Patient Facility


NUMBER OF REPORTED CASES BY GENDER
(Facility - Based)
CY 2006

                                                   MALE             FEMALE       GRAND TOTAL
TYPE OF ADMISSION NO. % NO. % NO. %
NEW ADMISSIONS 3,858 71.74 366 73.94 4,224 71.62
READMISSIONS 765 14.22 34 6.87 799 13.60
OUT - PATIENT 755 14.03 95 19.19 850 14.47
T O T A L 5,378 91.57 495 8.43 5,873 100.00

 


STATISTICS ON DRUG ABUSE

FACILITY-BASED ADMISSIONS

       For the year 2005, the reporting centers totaled to 55 residential and 3 outpatient facilities, registering an additional 2 residential and another 2 out-patient centers, as compared to those of 2004.

       A total of 5,873 cases were recorded, broken down as 5,023 cases (86%) from the residential facilities and 850 cases (14%) from the outpatient centers.  Out of the total residential cases, 4,224 (84%) were newly admitted while the remaining 799 (16%) were re-admitted cases.  As compared to the figures of 2004, it was noted that there was an increase of 3.55% in the new admissions while there was a 9.92% decline in relapse cases. A significant rise, though, was observed in the out-patient cases from the 2004 figure of 220 to 2005’s total of 850.

       The National Capital Region (NCR) had the highest percent distribution of cases with 3,330 (or 56.70%) of the total national admissions.  Regions IV-A and III followed with 15.21% and 13.18% admissions, respectively.

       Center admissions were predominantly male with a ratio of 10:1.  Single clients comprised 54.40%; married (30.05%); with live-in partners (9.38%); and separated (4.5%).  As to educational attainment, high school level had the highest percent distribution with 27.58%

    Most of these clients were unemployed (38.19%) prior to admission.  For those who were previously employed before undergoing rehabilitation, 32.93% were workers/ employees while 7.59% were self-employed/businessman.  The average monthly family income of these Center clients is 13,063.13

MOST COMMONLY USED/ABUSED DRUGS/SUBSTANCE
(Facility Based)
CY 2005

DRUGS USED / ABUSED

NEW ADMISSIONS
No.          %

RE-ADMISSIONS
No.          %
OUT-PATIENT
No.          %
GRAND TOTAL
No.          %
1. SHABU (STIMULANT) 3,492 59.46 716 12.19 570 9.71 4,778 81.36
2. MARIJUANA (CANNABIS) 1,178 20.06 324 5.52 474 8.07 1,976 33.65
3. INHALANTS 200 3.41 23 0.39 60 1.02 283 4.82
4. BENZODIAZEPINES 123 2.09 70 1.19 5 0.09 198 3.37
5. COUGH / COLD PREPARATIONS 85 1.45 59 1.00 5 0.09 149 2.54
6. ECSTASY (STIMULANT) 68 1.16 25 0.43 3 0.05 96 1.63
7. COCAINE (STIMULANT) 46 0.78 22 0.37 2 0.03 70 1.19
8. NUBAIN (NARCOTIC / ANALGESIC) 33 0.56 25 0.43 1 0.02 59 1.00
9. OPIUM (MORPHINE / HEROIN) 16 0.27 11 0.19 1 0.02 28 0.48
10. KETAMINE (NARCOTIC / ANALGESIC) 12 0.20 6 0.10   0.00 18 0.31
OTHER DRUGS 7 0.12 1 0.02   0.00 8 0.14

* Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

MOST COMMONLY ABUSED DRUGS

       Filipino drug abusers, being multiple abusers, take drugs in combination with other similarly intoxicating substances.

       For 2005, Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or Shabu, remained as the top drug of choice and was abused by 81.36% (4,778) of clients recorded.  Marijuana was second with 1,976 cases (33.65%) while inhalants placed 3 abused were benzodiazepines (3.37%), cough/cold preparations (2.54%), and Ecstasy (1.63%).

       These drugs were commonly taken through inhalation or sniffing and by oral administration.

PROFILE OF DRUG ABUSERS
(Facility based)
CY 2006

AGE : Mean age of 28 years
SEX : Ratio of male to female 9:1
CIVIL STATUS : Single 57.77%
OCCUPATION : Unemployed 35.81%
EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT : High School level 29.79%
ECONOMIC STATUS:Average monthly family income P13,706.43
PLACE OF RESIDENCE : Urban (specifically NCR 58.32%)
DURATION OF DRUG TAKING : More than six (6) years
NATURE OF DRUG – TAKING : Poly drug use**
DRUGS OF ABUSE : Methamphetamine Hydrochloride (Shabu)
                                 Cannabis (Marijuana)
                                 Inhalants (Contact Cement  Ex.: Rugby)

*Residential and Out-Patient Facility

** Poly drug users – abuse drugs one after the other or in combination with other intoxicating substances.


THE DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF FACILITY-BASED CLIENTS FOR 2006

       There were more males than females in the centers’ population; the ratio is 9:1.  Most of the admitted cases, 889 (18.90% were in the age group of 25 to 29 years old.  The average or mean age is 28 years old; the youngest is 6 years old (from an outpatient facility) while the oldest is 73 years old (from a residential facility). The initial drug use, as claimed by the clients, happened between ages 15 to 19 years old. It was also noted that the duration of drug taking prior to admission is six years and above.

       More than half or 57.77% (2,717) of the total admission were single; 25.77% (1,212) were married; 10.91% (513) have live-in partners, and 4.25% (200) were separated.  Of the 4,703 cases, 35.81% (1,684) were unemployed.  For those who were employed, 34.42% (1,619) were workers, and 9.74% (458) were self-employed/ businessmen, prior to admission.

       Urban areas had the highest percentage of cases specifically the NCR with 58.32% (2,743), followed by Region IV-A, 11.67% (549).  The distribution of cases can be seen below:

       As to educational attainment, most of the clients reached high school level (29.79%) while others have college education (25.11%).

       The average monthly family income is 13,706.43.  The lowest monthly income is reported to be 300.  The most popular source of drugs is friends/peers (50.56%) and pushers (33.64%).

 

NUMBER OF REPORTED CASES BY GENDER
(Facility - Based)
CY 2006

                                                   MALE             FEMALE       GRAND TOTAL
TYPE OF ADMISSION NO. % NO. % NO. %
NEW ADMISSIONS 2,759 58.66 309 6.57 3,068 65.23
READMISSIONS 565 12.01 31 0.66 596 12.67
OUT - PATIENT 901 19.16 138 2.93 1,039 22.09
T O T A L 4,225 89.84 478 10.16 4,703 100.00

*  Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

 

MOST COMMONLY USED/ ABUSED DRUGS
(Facility Based)
CY 2006

DRUGS USED / ABUSED NEW ADMISSIONS RE-ADMISSIONS OUT-PATIENT GRAND TOTAL % based on the total number of responses % based on the total number of admissions
1. Methamphetamine Hydrochloride 2,219 523 514 3,256 52.23 69.23
2. Cannabis (Marijuana) 1,057 229 521 1,807 28.99 38.42
3. Inhalants (Contact Cement Ex.: Rugby) 288 32 243 563 9.03 11.97
4. Benzodiazepines 102 64 7 173 2.78 3.68
5. Cough / Cold Preparations 97 30 1 128 2.05 2.72
6. MDMA (Ecstasy) 53 16 2 71 1.14 1.51
7. Nalbuphine Hydrochloride (Nubain) 21 8   29 0.47 0.62
8. Psilocybin (Magic Mushroom) 15 8   23 0.37 0.49
9. Solvent 6 3 7 16 0.26 0.34
10. Ketamine 10 5   15 0.24 0.32

*  Total Reported Cases from Residential and Out-Patient Facilities

       Drug abusers remain to be poly drugs users as indicated by their most commonly abused drugs which are Methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), 69.23% and cannabis (marijuana), 38.42%.  Abuse of contact cement (ex. Rugby) is also reported at 11.97%.

       Others preferred Benzodiazepines, 3.68% and cough/cold preparations, 2.72%.  The common route/mode of use is still inhalation/sniffing and oral ingestion.